New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the 100th Kisan Rail from Sangola in Maharashtra to Shalimar in West Bengal on Monday, 28th December via video conferencing. Union Ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Modi termed the Kisan Rail Service as a major step towards increasing the income of the farmers of the country. He expressed happiness that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, 100 Kisan Rails were launched in the last 4 months. He said this service will bring a major change in the economy related to farming and will also increase the strength of the country’s cold supply chain, and added that no minimum quantity has been fixed to transport through Kisan Rail so that even the smallest produce will be able to reach the big market properly at a low price, according to the PMO.
The Prime Minister said the Kisan Rail project not only shows the commitment of the Government to serve the farmers but also serves as proof of how fast farmers are ready for new possibilities. He said farmers can now sell their crops in other states as well, in which farmers’ rail (Kisan Rail) and agriculture flights (Krishi Udaan) have a big role. He explained that Kisan Rail is a mobile cold storage to move perishable things like fruits, vegetables, milk, and fish with complete security. “India always had a large railway network, even before independence. Cold storage technology was also available. Only now this strength is being harnessed properly through Kisan Rail,” the Prime Minister added.
PM Modi said a facility like Kisan Rail has given millions of small farmers of West Bengal a huge facility. This facility is available to the farmer as well as the local small businessman. He said experts in the field of agriculture and experiences from other countries and new technology are being incorporated into Indian agriculture.
The PMO stated that perishable rail cargo centres are being constructed in the vicinity of railway stations where farmers can store their produce. The effort is to supply as much fruit and vegetable as possible to households. Extra produce should reach the entrepreneurs engaged in production of juice, pickle, sauce, chips etc., the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Modi remarked that the Government is focused on storage-linked infrastructure and processing industries associated with value addition in farming products. He said about 6,500 such projects have been approved under Mega Food Parks, Cold Chain Infrastructure, and Agro Processing Cluster under the PM Krishi Sampada Yojana. Rs. 10,000 crore have been sanctioned for micro food processing industries under Aatmanirbhar Abhiyan package.
PM Modi said it is the participation and support of the rural people, farmers, and youth that makes the Government’s efforts successful, adding that Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) and cooperative groups like women self help groups get priority in agri-business and agri-infrastructure. Recent reforms will lead to the expansion of agri-business and these groups will be the biggest beneficiaries, the Prime Minister stated, adding that private investment in agriculture will support the Government’s effort to help these groups. “We will keep on marching on the path of strengthening Indian agriculture and Kisan with full dedication,” the Prime Minister concluded.
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